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The Dream

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ivy Thomas
  • 121st Air Refueling Wing

RICKENBACKER AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, OH -- Edward Appiah was born and raised in Accra, Ghana, with his uncle. At 23, he moved to the United States to be with his parents. Appiah, a green card holder at the time, had to obtain his bachelor's degree in Europe because it was too expensive to study in the U.S. After getting his degree, he made a life-changing decision. Senior Airman Edward Appiah joined the Ohio Air National Guard.

"My uncle was in the military, but he was in the Army. He talked me through it and about all the benefits and education," said Appiah.

After talking to his uncle, Appiah learned he could give his Post 9/11 GI Bill to his children. Therefore, they would not have to go to Europe to get a degree.

"I didn't want my kids to have to go through that. That is the main reason why I joined the military," said Appiah.

Not only did Appiah receive benefits for his children, but he also gained his U.S. Citizenship through the Air National Guard.

Appiah said, "It feels great, I'm telling you. It's every immigrant's dream to be a U.S. citizen. The United States is the greatest country in the world. I was so excited. It was another one of the reasons I wanted to join the military."

Appiah explained that his favorite part of America is how everyone is treated.

"I would say the diversity and inclusion is my favorite part of this country. How it treats people, and the respect and equality, is the main reason I love the United States," said Appiah.

Appiah has one thing he wants to share with all immigrants living in America.

"I think some immigrants have difficulty considering joining the military. They believe they will be discriminated against because of their background. I want to let them know that the military treats everyone equally. This is America. You don't have to worry about anything; just put in hard work," said Appiah. "Immigrants, don't be scared; get everything together, and you too can join the U.S. Air Force."